Postsecondary Education

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation publishes content on postsecondary education and related issues. Find and access current and archived items in our database. 

Spanning the Continuum: Pre-K to Workforce

Main Image

We hear it every day: ‘The success or failure of our education system directly correlates to the success or failure of the U.S. economy.’ We know that learning and mastering essential skills, such as writing and mathematics, in K–12 and postsecondary schooling is crucial to landing a job and excelling in the workforce. Yet, it’s also known that American public schools are failing across the board.

Workers Wanted: Governor, Businesses Talk About the Skills Gap

Main Image

Sandra Westlund-Deenihan’s biggest work worry isn’t making payroll or increasing international sales of her metal float balls, valves and assemblies. It’s teaching her entry-level employees how to use a simple ruler. Westlund-Deenihan, president and design engineer of Illinois-based Quality Float Works, spoke during a roundtable discussion on the skills gap at the U.S. Chamber Institute for Competitive Workforce’s (ICW's) Help Wanted event on September 20. The event brought together business leaders, policy makers, and innovative education leaders to discuss what businesses can do to better align the nation’s workforce needs with higher education.

College System Aligns Curriculum with Industry Needs

Main Image

The North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) recently announced its effort to meet the state’s industry needs by consolidating 80 curriculums down to 32 as part of the college system’s Code Green Super Curriculum Improvement Project (CIP). The State Board of Community Colleges worked with area employers to identify five fields critical to advancing the state’s economic growth: energy, building, environment, transportation, and engineering technology. The Board and college system leadership believe that grouping like majors together will allow students to gain a solid foundation of general skills before they move on to more specific coursework that will prepare them for the workforce.

College Budgets Need a Sharper Knife

Earlier this year, President Obama issued a challenge to institutions of higher education to do what they can to make tuition more affordable to students. Many in the higher education community dismissed the call to action, saying that the ongoing fiscal crises facing most states have already forced them to cut their budgets to the bone. This, they say, forces them to pass more costs on to the students.

New Paths Being Forged to Higher Education

Main Image

With demand for talented workers rising exponentially while state and federal budgets continue to shrink, the race is on to find new ways to impart more credentials and degrees with less money. In particular, two emerging trends have received a fair share of attention lately: open source online courses and prior learning assessments. , Recent articles by the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed shine a light these promising practices.